In medical terms, doctors use the word 'primary' to mean something caused by your body itself, or not caused by something external to your body. Primary hyperhidrosis is the general way to describe excessive sweating caused by something internal to the sweating process in our bodies, or the sweating itself, and not some other reason such as an underlying medical condition like an infection, or an outside variable like a medication causing a side effect of sweating.
In medical terms, doctors conversely use 'secondary' to describe a cause due to some other variable. In hyperhidrosis, this could be due to a side effect from a medication, or overheating from wearing too many layers, or more importantly a symptom of a more serious medical condition like a tumor, or an infection. To properly evaluate and treat for secondary excessive sweating, a doctor often first determines what (if any) underlying medical condition or medication may be the root of the problem, because the doctor wouldn't want to treat the hyperhidrosis while also masking or hiding the underlying condition.
This primary type of hyperhidrosis occurs only in concentrated areas of the body, such as the face, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin or armpits. Typically, this type of sweating occurs on both sides of the body, meaning both hands, or both feet, or under both arms at the same time.
This secondary type of hyperhidrosis almost always relates to secondary causes of the excessive sweating, meaning from a side effect of a medication, such as medicines for dry mouth, or antidepressants. Usually, the sweating occurs all over the body, and can include sweating while sleeping.
Specifically, focal hyperhidrosis of the palms of the hands. Many studies have been conducted on the emotional as well as physical impact of this particular type of hyperhidrosis on the patient's life, especially socially.
Specifically, focal hyperhidrosis of the soles of the feet.
Most everyone has heard of 'night sweats' in their lifetime, either because they've experienced sweating at night firsthand, or heard someone else talking about night sweats. This sweating while sleeping is very common as part of a woman's menopausal years as shifts in hormones occur, but it's separately very important to distinguish the main cause of sweating at night from the environment. In other words, are you too hot from the blankets, room air, or general room temperature, or are you sweating at night due to something internal to your body, such as a fever breaking, or your body fighting an infection. Always seek the opinion of a medical doctor if you are experiencing unexplained night sweats.
- Use stronger, prescription-strength antiperspirants, that may work at controlling your sweating better than the typical store-bought antiperspirants, or
- Use of one of several medical devices are on the market, such as home-use iontophoresis machines, a technology that combines with tap water to direct a small current through the skin, effectively neutralizing the connection between the nerves and the sweat glands, and
- In extreme cases, a doctor may even recommend surgery to either disconnect the nerves causing the overproduction of the excessive sweating or the removal of the sweat glands themselves.